Fourth Annual Long Island Natural History Conference


















Update on The Nature Conservancy’s Shellfish Restoration Efforts
in Great South Bay

Carl LoBue, Senior Marine Scientist, The Nature Conservancy on Long Island
Adam Starke, Marine Scientist, The Nature Conservancy on Long Island

Through two acquisitions in 2002 and 2004 The Nature Conservancy acquired the 300 year-old fee title to over 13,400 acres of underwater lands in central Great South Bay from The Bluepoint’s Company.  With the backing of residents, stakeholders, and local, state, and federal agencies, The Nature Conservancy has made, and continues to make significant investments in restoring the bay’s once world-renowned hard clam population for the dual purposes of enhancing the health of the ecosystem and supporting sustainable shellfishing.  The multi-faceted approach aimed at addressing recruitment limitation, unsustainable harvest, imbalance of predators, and altered plankton communities has so far resulted in both advancements and setbacks.  A hallmark of our approach has been to couple restoration efforts with extensive monitoring to learn from both successes and failures and adjust approaches accordingly.  This presentation will walk you through what has been accomplished and what has been learned over the past 12 years.  Our findings are applicable to the growing number of shellfish restoration efforts around Long Island and within other estuaries experiencing similar conditions.

Carl LoBue is the Senior Marine Scientist for The Nature Conservancy’s Long Island program.  Carl is part of a team of natural scientists, social scientists, analysts, communications and policy experts that are working to restore and protect beaches, bays, and natural areas.  Recently Carl’s largest responsibilities have been aimed at addressing Long Island’s nitrogen pollution problem which is negatively impacting the health of bays and harbors as well as the integrity of Long Island’s only source of clean drinking water. Email:clobue@TNC.ORG

Adam Starke is a Marine Scientist with The Nature Conservancy’s Long Island Program.  Adam’s responsibilities include monitoring Long Island’s marshes and water quality, as well as restoring clams, bay scallops, and oysters in the Peconic Estuary and Great South Bay.  Prior to his current appointment at The Nature Conservancy Adam studied the feasibility of Oyster restoration in the Hudson River around New York City. Email: astarke@TNC.ORG